February 23, 2011

Leading Texas newspaper calls for Amazon to pay its taxes


Another big city newspaper has blasted Amazon.com for dodging paying sales taxes in Texas — this one in Texas. As MobyLives noted earlier, Amazon’s hometown newspaper, the Seattle Times, recently took the company to task for firing its employees and abandoning its business in Texas to avoid paying sales taxes on books sold there.

Now, the editors of the Dallas Morning News have joined in with a ringing editorial, saying “It defies logic that a book bought online can elude sales tax while the same book bought in a bookstore can’t. A sales transaction is a sales transaction, and if one is taxed, why shouldn’t the other be taxed as well?”

The paper’s declaration comes shortly after Texas Governor Rick Perry criticized Texas Comptroller Susan Combs for demanding that Amazon pay the state $269 million dollars it owes in back taxes.

But the DM editors praise Combs for not backing down, and say she “is right to try to collect sales tax from Amazon and protect brick-and-mortar stores in Texas from unfair competition.”

Dennis Johnson is the founder of MobyLives, and the co-founder and co-publisher of Melville House. Follow him on Twitter at @mobylives